President Trump has taken to boasting about how the economy is on a tear since he took office, although that is untrue: The number of jobs added to the U.S. economy in the first six months of 2017 is actually lower than the number of jobs added in the last six months of President Obama's term.
And some experts say that, conversely, Trump is actively damaging the U.S. economy and increasing the prospect of a recession. "A slowdown seems likely because Trump's fractious months in office have already degraded the nation's business and investment environment," write law professors Benjamin P. Edwards and Sarah C. Haan in U.S. News.
Here are five of their arguments why.
Investors require stability
And Trump is anything but, from his volatile positions on domestic issues and emotional outbursts on foreign policy. "Sustained economic growth and investment require stability, predictability, public integrity and a strong commitment to the rule of law," the professors say. "Without predictability and reliable law, investors and business leaders may hesitate to risk capital here."
Trump Twitter tirades prevent economic growth
That, so far, has been Trump's predominant governance method. Edwards and Haan point to the case of Guam. Trump said that tourism to the U.S. territory would rise "tenfold" because of his threatening tweets about North Korea. The opposite has happened: Guam has lost $9.5 million in tourism since Trump started fanning the rhetorical flames on Twitter instead of pursuing diplomacy.
Trump's support of ending DACA would waste precious capital
Essentially, deporting up to 800,000 children of undocumented immigrants would squander Americans' investment in them. "The decision threatens to waste America's investment in educating hundreds of thousands of Dreamers," write Edwards and Haan. "It also hurts American citizens doing business with them. Will deported Dreamers repay car loans, student loans, and credit cards if displaced to foreign nations?"
The "Muslim ban" has caused damage already
Again, political volatility and racism don't make the United States a welcoming market for investment. "That tempest, with the president still tweeting about wanting a broader travel ban, may still affect international investments in the United States," the professors say. "These moves may tip the strategic balance toward investing elsewhere when considering new long-term projects."
Even food prices may be affected
Increased immigration — or the threat thereof — will leave farmers without adequate labor, which is already happening, Edwards and Haan say. "California crops now rot in the fields without the labor supply to bring the food to market. As produce withers on the vine, prices increases may soon hit grocery stores nationwide."